I noticed recently that Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church (and, according to Nielsen, the most-watched inspirational figure in America), has been talking and posting about his new book, “The Power of I Am.” He’s encouraging people to use the hashtag #THEPOWEROFIAM, to declare aloud, “I am happy,” “I am healthy,” “I am victorious.” To believe something good is going to happen to you every day. Though Joel is coming from the Christian tradition, his message resonates with anyone on a spiritual path; he believes that the words you think and say create your reality. You have the choice every morning to think, “Today will be a good day,” or “Today is going to suck.” And, inevitably, your day will turn out precisely as you’ve predicted. This is the power of intention. When I saw a recent post on Facebook from Joel about this book, I was struck by a sudden recollection of a lecture I heard by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer about those very words: I AM. And then it all started to come together for me. The words “I am” mean so, so much more than we think.
Brace yourself: “I am” = God. Stay with me here. Dr. Dyer explains it’s more than just that you become what you think. When you invoke the words I AM, you are invoking God, the divine, the creator, the universe (or however you personally define it). In his PBS special Wishes Fulfilled, he explains the following:
In the story of Moses & the Burning Bush, Moses asks God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and I say to them, ‘The God of your father has sent me to you’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God says to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever and this is my memorial to all generations.”
So when we start a sentence or thought with “I am…” we are connecting back to God and the universe. When we say “I am stupid” or “I am worthless,” we essentially saying the same thing about God. Blogger ANewDayANewMe put it this way: Dr. Dyer points out that God did not say “I will be,” “My name is I Hope Things Work Out Well,” “My name is Maybe Things That I Want Will Show Up But Possibly Not!” He said “I AM that I AM.”
Dr. Dyer explained: Instead of I am incapable of getting a job, shift to I am capable. Similarly, replace proclamations of I am not able to live in peace with I am peace. I am unlucky in love is replaced by I am love. I am unworthy of happiness becomes I am happiness. The words I am, which you consistently use to define who you are and what you are capable of, are holy expressions for the name of God—the highest aspect of yourself. Break lifelong habits of unwittingly besmirching this holy name. Discontinue using pejorative labels to cast aspersions on your holy self. Always make your very first consideration the honoring of your Divine spirit. This will allow you to rise to previously unimagined heights. Teach your outer self to accept the unlimited power of your inner spirit and the things you place in your imagination can become true for you.
In the description for his children’s book “I AM,” he noted: I AM teaches kids a simple but profound message: God is not far off in the distance, or even merely beside us. In other words, we are not separate from God – we are God!
So recognizing your own divinity, saying “I am God,” is not blasphemy, it is your identity. And if we are God then one of the greatest lines from the New Testament applies to us: “With God, all things are possible.” And this is where mindfulness plays an important role. What you think, you become. Words are so, so powerful. And if we are God, all things are possible. So… why not manifest those things that will make you great? Instead of saying, “I am lonely” or “I am worthless,” why not declare, “I am all good, wonderful, joyful things and I expect miracles every day!” I think you’ll be surprised at how your life changes and what fantastic opportunities begin to come your way. Overcome that “I am not…” mentality.
As Dr. Dyer was fond of saying in his lectures, “Who I am is birthless, deathless, and that which never changes.” That is the essence of who you are. Make it the best possible version of you. You have that power.